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Web of Art 13: Those Who Fight; Those Who Pray; Those Who Work

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Monk, Warrior and Peasant.
13th-15th c French Gothic Sculpture

FRENCH GOTHIC Anonymous (active c. 1150 - c. 1500) Primary
13th-15th c
L. Burgundy. C&R. Ile de France.
L.Lyon. Musée des Beaux-Arts. C. Chartres Cathedral R. Senlis Cathedral
Medieval society was divided into three factions: those who prayed, those who fought and those who worked. We have already talked about the monasteries where monks preserved the weak flame of civilization during the long dark years of the barbaric invasions. During the chaos and the renewed invasions of the 10th century many of the monastic houses fell into disorder. However, during the 11th and 12th centuries a series of strong energetic popes strengthened the papacy and reformed the clergy. Old monastic orders were renovated and new ones were founded. As noted earlier, the two most important were the Benedictines of Cluny and the Cistercians under the leadership of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Later in this lesson we will examine some of the monasteries and churches that were constructed during a great building boom in the 11th and 12th centuries. The papacy tried to channel the aggressive violence of the European warriors by encouraging them to go on crusades to the Holy Land. We will discuss the effects of the Crusades in this lesson, as well as the incredible expansion of the Normans into England and Sicily. And we will briefly discuss the poor peasants whose unremitting work produced the food that made it possible for the monks to pray and the knights to fight.

Caption: GOTHIC | Kneeling abbot, knight and peasant with title. | 1250-1450 | French | Gothic

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